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Get into the ring! How this works...

This is easy! Each week on Thursday I post my homily main focus for preaching this coming Sunday. What I am hoping for is a reaction from people in the pews. Does my "focus" connect with your daily life, faith, and experience? Or not? Either affirm the direction I am going in (by giving me an example from your life) or challenge me, ask for clarification! Questions are the best! Reaction rather than reflection is what I'm looking for here. Don't be afraid, get in the ring. Ole!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Sunday IV - January 29 Prep

-Last week's homily is available by email
-Scriptures for this Sunday at >
-I am preaching at the 4:00pm and the 9:30am

"Without Distraction"

Two week's ago, the Lord Jesus himself turned around and asked those following, "what are you looking for?" Great question and not such a great answer for all of us. What I mean is that the issue or question of our motivation, our desire, what it is that we are seeking is a nagging one at best.

In the eighth grade this week we were talking about sacramental marriage and one young person cried out, "you can't help who you fall in love with". There may be some truth to that claim but we can certainly be sure about "what we are looking for". I begged them not to knowingly choose in a spouse what they were NOT looking for...holiness, heaven, communion.

St. Paul takes this conversation one step further and says that not only should we know what we're looking for "in" a spouse he warns that it may be hard to "share our hearts desire". He warns his listeners to choose carefully what they want in this world based upon how it will affect their "adherence to the Lord without distraction".

So, like last week, I guess there is more than one way to do everything...even be married. If adherence to the Lord is the goal and standard of our lives, then any other thing we voluntarily choose (yes, falling in love is voluntary) ought to be ordered to the first desire of our cling to the Lord without distraction.

This isn't a rule Paul says, it's just smart. It just makes life ordered toward our highest goals. Think back about the most important decisions we have made in life. Did we even think to consider how they would affect our "adherence to the Lord"? Not so much.

I do about you.


JoyFuralle said...

It really makes me feel like, "Where have I been my whole life?" when you ask questions like this. It's shocking! Did I even THINK to consider how the most important decisions I made in my life would affect "adherence to the Lord"? No. Not even a thought, how crazy is THAT, yet Catholic grade school & Catholic family and practices. And nobody in my youth EVER asked me a question like that. That is even more shocking!

But now . . . YES.

Anonymous said...

Falling in love is not voluntary. I pray every day that God helps me fall in love with my spouse. Not happening.

anon 1 said...

I do now, too. But, like JoyFuralle, even with Catholic upbringing the question was never really put to me that way as I was growing up. And sadly, as my husband and I raised our children, I don’t think we really put the question to them that way, either! But hopefully now I do a better job of “seeing” it myself, and trying to help others see it too – that “ordering our lives to the first desire of our hearts – the Lord” (that was a great way of putting it, Matador) is the right way to go through life. And that is freeing. It’s not always easy – but it is freeing.

Anonymous said...

Falling in love is voluntary?..
I am having difficulty seeing it this way. Falling in love comes from the heart, even if it is for a short while, no? I can't help it when I love some one, even when it hurts.
It is a beautiful though to consider in everything we do how we are pleasing our Lord, I think faith takes us to this level, but realistically it is very hard to accomplish.
I do in early morning an offering upon weaking up.. Good morning Lord, here I am, thank you for one more day, I AM OFFERING YOU MY DAY, with the good and no so good things I will do. Then I drink my coffee. This way when distractions arrive, He knows I love Him, my human condition is at fault... :-) Perseverance in this prayer makes my day a little bit easier.

lr said...

I agree that falling in love is not voluntary. It is frustrating and bittersweet when your heart is where it should not be. lr

Jim O said...

I think falling in love is voluntary, when you consider that you have to be open to it. You have to see it, open your heart to it and accept it. It can't be forced on you.

It can certainly happen unexpectedly and without "looking" for it, but you still have to have the mindset to recognize it and accept it. I know that I don't always see how much God loves me because my heart and mind are distracted or focused on something else.

Anyway, great advise to make our decisions based on "adherence to the Lord".

Anonymous said...

I think there are different phases of Love. I loved the man I married, as time went on I fell in love with him, sometimes I felt more love than at other times.
I did not marry a Catholic, I was not a practicing Catholic when I met him. Marrying a Catholic was not first and foremost in my mind.

There was a young man in my early 20's who was from a large Catholic family, brother was a priest, my mother was over the moon. But he was too nice for me, I found out later he died in a car accident.
My thought would I have handled that.
I met and loved more than one person, I didn't realize in my youth that love is fleeting. That God's love is a constant. Its a comforting thought now, that no matter what, no matter what my choices (and I wish all were made with the Lord in mind, I have a long way to go with that) that God loves me always. WOW.

Anonymous said...

Teresa of Avila writes:
" I desire nothing but to love You!"
Perhaps for just one week, we can try to follow her... It will be great preparation for Lent.
This is an excellent homily- prep.
Matador, you know how to make us to reflect.....

tom said...

I do believe falling in love is indeed voluntary, but "falling" is not a good word here. Real love demands a period of time spent in mutual exploration and discovery of each other's character. Falling in love (or not) demands the conscious decision to continue or discontinue a relationship.

lr said...

I love this message. Matador, you have been hitting home with me lately. I often find it so difficult to deal with my "heart's desire" for God with my spouse and family love and responsibilities. I want to devote myself 100% to my heart's desire, yet my life's duties "get in the way." It is hard for me to devote my whole attention to God when I have the diversions of my life. I guess that is because I feel I was meant to join the religious life, first and foremost years ago, but got off that path for several reasons. I need to remind myself that God can use me to serve His purpose now, as well. It is also hard because I am the spiritual strength of my family. I cannot rely on my spouse for spiritual strength or learning. I have to be "the strong one" for him and he is learning from my example. He would be happy if the kids went to the public school, and even if we skipped Mass. So maybe God is using me after all.